If you’re looking for new ways to generate leads and sales, have you considered hosting a webinar? People enjoy learning new things through webinars, and if they show interest in your webinar topic, they are likely a potential client for your product or service.

Follow these steps to execute a successful webinar strategy.

Find Out What People Want to Know More About

In your industry, you probably find yourself giving the same advice over and over. Do some research to determine what resources are available to help people solve the problem you want to address.  Even if there are other webinars and websites devoted to the topic, you likely have your own perspective and experience you can share.

Your webinar shouldn’t be a hard pitch of your product. Instead, address questions or issues your target market has, and teach them a solution. For example, if I were to host a webinar about writing press releases, people would attend to get information on DIY PR.  By teaching them a skill through a webinar, I expose them to my expertise and they might hire me or buy my books in the future.

Scheduling Your Webinar

It can be difficult to schedule your webinar at a time that’s convenient for everyone, but use Ken Molay’s advice on what days and times work best. If your audience is business professionals schedule your webinar during work hours.

There are many webinar tools to choose from, all at different price points. Most have apps for your mobile or tablet too, which can be a bonus for users who prefer those channels. Compare your options to see what’s the right fit for your webinar needs.

Promoting Your Webinar

Now that you’ve scheduled your webinar, make sure you use Eventbrite or a landing page that lets people register to attend your webinar. Getting attendees to register in advance can not only help you figure out how much bandwidth you need for your webinar platform, but it also makes people more likely to attend.

I’ve played around with charging a nominal fee ($5) for attending a webinar, and was pleased to see a better turnout than the free admission webinars, which are easy to neglect if you have nothing invested in attending.

Now, promotion. Share the promotional link heavily on Facebook and Twitter. Write a blog post about the webinar, and ask your contacts to do the same. Do this daily to ensure you get the maximum attendees.

Working in the Pitch

Remember when giving your webinar that your goal is not to pitch people directly. There’s nothing worse than clearing your schedule for a webinar only to realize it’s a thinly veiled sales pitch.

Provide value to your listeners. Answer questions. Establish yourself as the expert on your subject. At the end, give listeners a special webinar exclusive offer. Make yourself available via Twitter and email after the webinar to answer additional questions. Attendees will appreciate this.

After the webinar is over, use your registration list to create a new contact list. Email the list thanking them for attending, offer them a link to the slides of the webinar to review the material, and include any special offers. Ask them if they would like to continue receiving your emails, and include an unsubscribe option at the bottom so they can easily opt out.

Keep this list updated for future webinars and services you offer. If you feel your webinar was a success, send a survey with other topics ideas, and plan future webinars around the survey results.

Webinars let you show off your expertise, target leads and can generate sales. Use your first webinar as a guide to determine what works and what doesn’t for future webinars.

Have you hosted webinars to generate leads and sales? What tips do you have to share with us?